UF softball wins all five games out west
Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 3:08 a.m.
TEMPE, Ariz., — Four Gators hit home runs Sunday as the Florida softball squad put on a show at Farrington Stadium to cap off a stellar weekend at the Kajikawa Classic with a 14-3 victory over No. 13 Arizona to start the 2013 season undefeated (5-0).
The No. 14 Gators walk away from Tempe with victories over two top-five programs in No. 3 Cal and No. 5 Oregon in addition to Sunday's win over the Wildcats. Cal, Oregon and Arizona were predicted to finish first, third and fifth, respectively, in the Pac 12 preseason coaches' poll.
All 16 Gators saw action in UF's season-opening tournament, including all three pitchers, each of them picking up wins — junior Hannah Rogers against Oregon and Cal, sophomore Lauren Haeger against Creighton and Arizona and sophomore Alyssa Bache against the Cal State Northridge Matadors Saturday.
Individually, Florida was led at the plate by Kelsey Stewart, who had two doubles, a triple, two home runs, five RBIs and five stolen bases throughout the three-day tournament. Florida registered a .303 batting average as a team on opening weekend with 40 hits, nine doubles, a triple, eight homers — two each by Stewart and Taylor Schwarz — and 36 RBIs. Bailey Castro and Kirsti Merritt both connected for grand slams, Castro against Arizona and Merritt against Creighton Friday. The Gators were additionally 14-15 in the stolen base category over the weekend.
UF put up 14 runs on nine hits against Arizona, including five of those in the top of the first frame to get out to an early lead and give Haeger confidence and insurance to work with in the circle. As a team, the Gators drew 10 walks to aid their winning effort.
The Gators batted through the lineup in the first frame against starting Wildcat hurler Shelby Babcock as Kelsey Horton, Stephanie Tofft and Schwarz all had one RBI each in the first inning, while Haeger crossed home on a Arizona throwing error and Taylore Fuller scored on a Babcock illegal pitch.
Kajikawa Classic results
Florida 13, Creighton 3 (5 inn.)
Florida 1, No. 5 Oregon 0
Florida 7, Cal State Northridge 0
Florida 7, No. 3 Cal 4
Florida 14, No. 13 Arizona 3